Luigi Colani

(b. 1928)

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(1928– )

German designer Colani worked across a wide range of products as well as many experimental concepts never put into production and did much to promote himself as a design ‘celebrity’, even changing his first name from Lutz to the more ‘designer‐friendly’ Luigi. He studied art in Berlin in 1946 before moving to Paris to study aerodynamics at the Sorbonne in 1948. He went on to work for the Douglas Aircraft Company from 1952 to 1954, followed by a period working on aerodynamic forms for a number of automobile companies including Fiat, Alfa Romeo, BMW, and Volkswagen. In 1968, in response to considerable demand for Colani‐designed products, he opened his own design company in Westphalia, working on a wide range of furniture, automobile, and product commissions for companies such as Cor (Orbisi chair, 1969), Rosenthal (Drop tableware, 1972), and Canon (T90 camera, 1983). Many of these designs reflected a penchant for flowing, organic forms with an aesthetic affinity with high technology, an outlook that derived from his interest in aerodynamics. In the 1980s he established himself in Japan working for many leading companies such as Sony, Nissan, and Seiko, also establishing the Colani Design Centre in Berne, Switzerland, in 1986. His work covered almost every sphere of human activity, was often signed to give it ‘designer’ cachet, and was celebrated in the Colani Designs and Visions exhibition in Bremen, Germany, in 1998.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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